May Is Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month
While it is true that driving can be dangerous for all of us, certain types of motorists are more at risk of sustaining serious injuries in the event of a collision. Motorcyclists, for instance, are much more vulnerable to injury, as they don’t have the benefit of seat belts and a barrier between themselves and the road. Unfortunately, for this reason, motorcyclists are much more prone to traumatic injuries, which often prove fatal. May, which is Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month, provides motorists with a good opportunity to start engaging in safe driving practices and to focus on reducing the number of fatalities and injuries on U.S. roadways.
How Dangerous are Motorcycle Accidents?
In 2020, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimated that more than 5,579 motorcyclists had lost their lives in traffic collisions, a number that represented an 11 percent increase from the previous year. In fact, motorcyclist deaths accounted for nearly 14 percent of the total highway fatalities that year. That same year, as many as 82,528 motorcyclists were injured in collisions. Based on this data, the NHTSA estimates that motorcyclists are around 28 times more likely than the drivers of standard passenger vehicles to be killed in a crash. Fortunately, there are steps that both motorists and motorcyclists can take to help prevent these kinds of dangerous collisions.
To avoid causing a crash with motorcyclists, motorists are encouraged to take a few precautions, including:
- Giving motorcyclists a full lane width of space when possible;
- Checking their blind spots and mirrors before merging or changing lanes;
- Allowing for at least four seconds of following distance when traveling behind a motorcycle;
- Using extra care when turning, especially in intersections; and
- Signaling before changing lanes.
While taking these steps isn’t a guarantee that a driver won’t be involved in a car accident, it can go a long way towards reducing someone’s chances of causing a collision with a motorcyclist.
Driving safely isn’t only the responsibility of motorists, but applies equally to motorcyclists, who are urged to take the following precautionary measures when riding:
- Wearing a helmet and other protective gear, including long pants, a jacket, and gloves;
- Completing a rider education course;
- Avoiding riding in inclement weather;
- Obeying the speed limit;
- Keeping an eye out for road hazards, like gravel and potholes;
- Using their turn signals;
- Performing proper motorcycle maintenance; and
- Riding defensively by trying to predict driver behavior.
Unfortunately, even motorcyclists who use the greatest care when driving could end up involved in a collision because of someone else’s negligence. In these cases, the injured party could be entitled to compensatory damages.
Call Our Legal Team Today
If you were hurt in a motorcycle accident, contact the Tampa motorcycle accident lawyers at Anderson & Anderson to learn more about seeking compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, and property damage. You can set up a meeting with a member of our legal team by calling 813-251-0072 or by completing one of our online contact forms.